Traveling across Europe is a great experience that carries one puzzling nuance. Since we do not yet have a universal translator embedded in a hearing aid, the sound of foreign languages is often confusing. This is especially true and evident when talking with a child! It is easy to smile and laugh when the child talks, but what if your response doesn’t make sense? Certain words and gestures are universal, but there are many that are totally unique. How do you communicate? What do you do when you do not understand? Do the frustrations build on both sides until people stop trying to communicate?
Quinn and India, five and three respectively, model a very good answer to the questions. They just keep going, enjoying life and interacting with others, teaching as they go along. When Whitney smiles and laughs at the wrong time, Quinn lets her know that this is the “wrong” response. When things work everyone laughs and smiles! Nothing seems to slow them down! Wrong answers are merely opportunities for more words and gestures! A lack of response presents another window to share even more Dutch words and phrases. Kids seem to thrive on chaos and things work out when both sides keep working to share.
God must feel just like Quinn does at times. He spends a lot of time and energy communicating with you and I; whispers here, acts of wonderful providence there, and even a touch of help and healing. Yet, at least in my case, I often seem to have no idea of what is going on! My response makes absolutely no sense in the larger scheme of things! “But haven’t there been plenty of opportunities for Israel [you and I] to listen and understand what’s going on?” (Romans 10.18)
God responds to this with a child’s logic. Wrong answers are opportunities for even more words and gestures of love! A lack of response presents windows to share a deeper sense of acceptance and mercy. Yet, we still do not understand! So God carries on…because he really does love you.